The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.
"If Agrokor's management is getting closer to an agreement with the creditors and to a model by which to remedy the existing difficulties, I think that is good. If such an agreement is reached, I expect that Agrokor's debts towards suppliers will be settled shortly," Dalic said.
Commenting on the news that the bank accounts of Agrokor's companies have been blocked, she said that the blockage were the consequence of business decisions of the companies that blocked the accounts.
Asked if it was true that the Russian creditors had expressed great dissatisfaction over the possible adoption of the bill, Dalic said she had met with representatives of the Russian banks and told them that the government's position was that Agrokor was a private company that had to reach an agreement with its creditors on its own and that most of the responsibility lay with Agrokor's management and owners.
"For the government, private companies are private companies and the state cannot and does not want to intervene directly in them in any way. But the consequences of ongoing developments are that such a large company is posing a systemic risk to Croatia, and it is based on this knowledge that we have prepared this bill," she said.
Asked why only a debtor or a creditor with the debtor's consent can seek protection under the bill on vitally important companies, Dalic said that this constituted "the heart of constitutionality" of the government-sponsored bill because it should prevent any possibility of abusing the law.